While we are in the process of moving the site over to a new webhost, we won’t be writing. We’ll be back soon and we expect to be MUCH faster!

(When this sentence is visible, it means we are on the new host. But we will wait a little after that before we pick up work again, since when sites change from one host to another, they can go back and forth a bit at times.)


Comments

We Are Moving This Site to a New Webhost — 4 Comments

  1. Looking for help!
    working on little under permit domes on my place 50 miles west of Las Vegas, 2 plus acres, virgin desert, wonderful, closet To Tecopa, would love some help, offer if you like, stay for a year or 2. call me, 760 852 4534. jehane
    look forward to your web site always! thanks!

    • This temporary ‘blog post’ will probably get deleted at some point. Please repost your message on our free Bulletin Board at the top of the page so more people will see it. Also, start a free blog to document your project. Take photos, discuss your goals and people will more likely be interested in visiting and helping out. (Cheaper than taking a workshop, and lots of people want to learn.) Show how to build very low cost houses (few hundred to few thousand dollars) and people will beat a path to your door, because this is what millions of people want.

      • Owen and Kelly,

        I think this topic is extremely important and worthy of much more detailed discussion.

        Very very few people build a house by themselves. Although some do accomplish it alone, the overwhelming vast majority of people have plenty of help.

        This is a topic that is all too frequently overlooked by those looking to build. Many don’t take advantage of many human resources that are often available to them for free or extremely low cost.

        This general topic might be worthy of a whole series of blog posts.

        For example:
        1. As you just suggested, “Documenting your project online, how it can help you get free labor and other assistance.”
        One idea I strongly encourage a “wish list” section on every builder’s blog. This would be a list of tools or materials that they would love for someone to donate. It’s amazing how many people have extra stuff laying around that is exactly what you might need if they only knew you wanted it. It’s also a great way for friends and family thousands of miles away to help by giving Birthday and Christmas presents that are really needed, instead of ‘That pretty framed picture for your new house’ that you have no place to store and won’t have a place to hang for a very long time. Especially when what you really need is a new tablesaw, or welder, new battery packs for your cordless drill, or that rugged beat up heavy duty utility trailer that is sitting in someone’s back yard overgrown with weeds and no longer wanted.

        2. “The right way to encourage family and friends to help your project, and pitfalls to avoid.”
        This one can be sometimes tricky. The key is to select the correct family members and friends that will “buy in” to what the builder is trying to accomplish and not constantly find fault. Better to surround oneself with encouraging people excited to help. One “Negative Nancy” can make a construction site miserable. Best to ask the naysayers to go away. Good humor and a team atmosphere go a long ways. “I love you Sister, but if you aren’t willing to encourage my efforts, please don’t say anything at all and just stay away from my building site until after the house is finished.”

        “Hosting a work party.”
        A detailed explanation of how to organize a work party where you invite people to come and help build. Perhaps include a checklist of items to have pre-arranged and materials, as well as potential pitfalls to avoid.

        “Hosting a class”
        How to invite an “expert” to come conduct a class on your construction site. How to get people excited to come learn and build at the same time.

        “Building relationships”
        What people should a DIY builder foster relationships with starting months and even years before starting to build?
        Might include,
        ‘The neighbor that has a tractor with a front end loader.’

        ‘Local farmers that purchase a lot of feed in feedbags’

        ‘Landscapers that remove lots of rock, urbanite, soil, etc, and need to dispose of it.’

        ‘Business that have the useful stuff in their dumpsters.’

        ‘The local commercial concrete mixing and delivery company’
        Most of these companies are always looking for places to dump loads of concrete that sat in the truck too long. This is a great resource for dumping along a path or new driveway in thin layers. It is best used like gravel base. Just be certain it is spread out and not dumped in one big lump.

        ‘The local junkyard’

        etc etc etc
        These relationships can be a very long list. I’m just mentioning a few examples for illustration.

        The more key people a builder develops relationships with, the better.

        Another important topic for a potential blog post might be,
        “How to decide whether to try to do a particular task yourself or hire someone to do it for you.”

        My brother and I often joke about making decisions by the “burger flipping rule.”
        Ask yourself “Would I rather work at a fast food burger joint mopping floors and flipping burgers to earn the money to hire someone to do this task, rather than doing this task myself?” If someone would rather work at a burger joint than do it themselves, they probably should hire someone to do the task, regardless of whether or not they will actually get that fast food job to earn the money to pay for it. For example, should someone amend the soil they have onsite, or pay to have roadbase trucked in ready to fill earthbags? If someone would rather flip burgers to earn the money to buy the roadbase, they definitely should not try to amend their own soil themselves. However, if they would rather do the physical work amending their own soil than go flip burgers to get the money to avoid doing all that soil work, then amending their own soil probably makes sense for them. You’d be amazed at how this rule can simplify decision making.

        As always, Owen and Kelly, all my suggestions are just that… suggestions. Feel free to use, modify, or ignore them as you deem appropriate.

        • Thanks, Jay. These are all good topics. Maybe you could write 1-2 blog posts as a guest writer. You see, I find topics, videos, etc. every day, plus people send me projects and workshop info fairly regularly, so I don’t know when I would get around to these topics. Anyway, I copied them in my list of possible blog topics.

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